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Suriname under Dutch rule, 1750– 1950

Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.

Race, locality and resistance
Author: Shirin Hirsch

Fifty years ago Enoch Powell made national headlines with his 'Rivers of Blood' speech, warning of an immigrant invasion in the once respectable streets of Wolverhampton. This local fixation brought the Black Country town into the national spotlight, yet Powell's unstable relationship with Wolverhampton has since been overlooked. Drawing from oral history and archival material, this book offers a rich local history through which to investigate the speech, bringing to life the racialised dynamics of space during a critical moment in British history. What was going on beneath the surface in Wolverhampton and how did Powell's constituents respond to this dramatic moment? The research traces the ways in which Powell's words reinvented the town and uncovers highly contested local responses. While Powell left Wolverhampton in 1974, the book returns to the city to explore the collective memories of the speech that continue to reverberate. In a contemporary period of new crisis and division, examining the shadow of Powell allows us to reflect on racism and resistance from 1968 to the present day.

Open Access (free)
Sabine Clarke

During the 1930s, episodes of violent protest by the inhabitants of Britain’s Caribbean colonies brought the extremely poor living and working conditions that existed in these territories to domestic and international attention. Revelations of widespread unemployment, squalid housing and malnutrition threatened the moral authority of British rule and provided fuel for critics of British imperialism. As a result, Britain made a commitment to improving living conditions in an area of the British Empire that it had previously neglected. This

in Science at the end of empire
Open Access (free)
Science and industrial development: lessons from Britain’s imperial past
Sabine Clarke

circulating before economists such as Prebisch and W. W. Rostow published their ideas. It has aimed to revise the usual story in which Britain resisted economic diversification in its Caribbean colonies and instead has shown that a number of visions of Caribbean industrialisation were proposed after 1942 that can be described as types of industrialisation-by-invitation, in a stronger or weaker form. These ideas, promoted by the British government, Arthur Lewis and the Caribbean Commission, differed so that no unified theory of development can be said to have informed plans

in Science at the end of empire
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Family histories in the Caribbean
Mary Chamberlain

11 Legacy and lineage: family histories in the Caribbean Mary Chamberlain My first research in Caribbean history, which I began shortly after I arrived in Barbados, involved the 1840 Masters and Servants Act, the punitive legislation and restrictive practices put in place after slave emancipation to ensure the planters a continuous, cheap and ‘located’ labour force. Commonly known as the Contract Law or, more colloquially, the tenantry system, to which it gave rise, the Act was not repealed until 1937. In 1989, when I began the research, there were still people

in Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world
Sabine Clarke

It is practically a cliché in discussions of the post-war Caribbean to state that the British government did nothing to foster the growth of secondary industry in the British West Indies after 1940, and even purposively frustrated development of this kind. The original fault is said to lie with the Moyne Commission since the Commission’s 1945 report did not expound the need for any major initiatives to foster the growth of industry in the region. 1 In the standard story, a period of indifference by Britain to the development of new industry

in Science at the end of empire

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Author: Lucy Bland

This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

Abstract only
Mary Chamberlain

nature of local patronage meant that the West Indian colonies were governed in the interests of the wealth producers – considered universally to be the plantation and industrial owners. Without exception, local rule favoured the privileges of the elite who were, almost universally, white. Barbados was one of the poorest of Britain’s territories in the Caribbean, the slums of Bridgetown among the worst

in Empire and nation-building in the Caribbean
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Cecily Jones

overlapping imbrication of whiteness in shaping the diverse material realities of women of European origin in the English-speaking slave-based societies of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and North Carolina in the American South, between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Historians of gender and slavery in the United States have significantly enriched our knowledge of the texture of women

in Engendering whiteness